Path salience in motion events from verbal and visual languages


Languages differ in the way they convey paths. S-languages conveying manner of motion directly in a main verb, while V-languages require a separate verb. This difference has been shown to influence the conceptualization and narration of motion events. We therefore asked: would this difference arise in the paths that people draw, particularly in visual narratives? We annotated the representations of path information (source, trajectory, goal) in a corpus of 35 comics from S- and V-languages. We found that panels from S-languages depicted the path of an action more often than those from V-languages, consistent with previous research on increased motion event salience for S-languages. These findings suggest that the conceptualization of paths from spoken language may influence the graphic depiction of paths.

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